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Thursday, 13 May 1965

Senator BRANSON (Western Australia) . - I enter this debate at the risk, perhaps, of showing that I have not a legally trained mind. However, I should like to bring to the debate the mind of the average citizen who will look at this legislation. Surely this legislation is being directed at the person who is in the business of selling, or displaying for sale, or supplying service decorations. I think so. We could sit here for the rest of today and each honorable senator could think up some remote possibility of which both the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McKenna) and Senator McClelland have given examples. For the type of transaction that Senator McKenna has mentioned to take place, someone would have to say to the tobacconist, the proprietor: " You have let this transaction happen on your premises. I am going to lay a charge against you." Before that could be done, the person charging the proprietor would need to have a strong enough case to know that he was going to obtain a conviction. I venture to state that if 1 were a proprietor and the Leader of the Opposition were the person who was going to charge me, 1 would say to him: " This transaction took place without my knowledge, lt took place behind that particular counter. This is the first I know of it ". I do not think that this position would arise. This provision is directed to protect the holders of the service awards against a person who is in the business of selling them, displaying them or having them for the purpose of display or offer for sale to people who are entitled to have them.

Senator Cohen - Where does the Bill say " in the business "?

Senator BRANSON - I am sorry. The Bill provides- . . at the place of business of a person, it is noi a defence for that person to prove that the sale, supply, offer or display for sale or supply was without his authority or contrary to his instructions

The point I am making is that this provision is directed to the person who is in the business of selling the decorations in order to keep him in line.

Senator Cohen - The Bill docs not say that.

Senator BRANSON - That is my interpretation of the proposed sub-section. That is what I think it means. This provision is to keep in line the person who is in business to supply the decorations or to have them for sale, and is not to apply to the tobacconist to whom the Leader of the Opposition referred. If the transaction did take place in the tobacconist's shop, then the Crown, it it was prosecuting, would not stand a chance of getting a conviction.

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